Sunday, 27 April 2008

More from Scotland

Here are some more pictures from the journey.

My favorite feature of The Galloway Forest Park is the streams. I have never seen more beautiful flowing water.

The second picture is pretty typical of what we saw: pre-Spring open spaces surrounded by mountains. I include this picture mostly because it seems to be what Americans think of when they think Scotland. That and men in kilts. Hey-o! Didn't see one kilt while I was there, by the way.

The third and fourth pictures are from our climb of The Merrick. The cairn we are standing on is actually on the smaller summit just to the south of The Merrick. We basically just stood there for the dramatic effect. The final picture is on the summit of The Merrick looking westward. In the distance is Ireland. From where we stood, many islands were visible. It was interesting to think about the Irish monks that reached these tiny places by boat, setting up monasteries and sharing the Gospel with natives.

And yes, that is snow you see. It was cold on the mountain, and we did not stay long. Looking north from the summit, we could see a big storm cloud quickly approaching. We basically raced the cloud off the summit to avoid being trapped in a potential whiteout.

That should be enough drama for one post. Take care, everyone.

The T and P

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Southwest Scotland

It's tough to pick a few pictures to sum up an awesome trip, and I don't think I did a very good job. Maybe I'l post some more in the near future, or maybe I'll just force all of you to fly over if you want to see the rest. A big thanks goes out to Tom for taking us north, and to Joe and Nate for flying over from Saratoga Springs.

We wilderness camped at Loch Trool in the Galloway Forest Park near Newton Stewart, Scotland. We chased lots of sheep (which we thought were Mt. Goats at the time), summited The Merrick (from which we could see Ireland in the distance), visited the sight of Robert The Bruce's first victory over the English (which he accomplished through rolling boulders down a hill onto the cavalry), ate Haggis (meat, grain and herbs stuffed into sheep's stomach) and sampled black pudding (congealed pigs blood stuffed into a sausage casing). It was a cold week to camp, but well worth it.

And by the way, we eventually saw some real Mt. Goats as we drove out of the park.

- The T and P

Saturday, 12 April 2008

From Dublin to Scotland

Last week was Dublin. This week is Scotland.

While in Dublin, we saw the birth place of "The Dark Stuff," The Chester Beatty Library (a must see for any fans of ancient manuscripts) and Trinity College's Book Of Kells Display. We also had the opportunity to visit a prehistoric burial/astronomical site called "New Grange," which dates back 5,200 years. At the summer and winter solstice, the sun shines down the corridor to illuminate the New Grange burial chamber. It is unknown how the site was built with such exactness.

This evening, I will sleep under the stars (or rain clouds) in SW Scotland. More pictures to come when I return.